Migrants flock to the Otago region

Dave Cull
Dave Cull

Migrants are flocking to Otago, but the region lags behind Auckland as a destination for new arrivals.

Statistics New Zealand data showed over the two years to November last year there was a net gain of 2812 migrants in Otago.

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Of the 2812, by far the largest gains were in Queenstown Lakes district (1189) and Dunedin (1156), followed by Waitaki (204), Central Otago (162), and Clutha (101).

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the figures were "really positive'' and it was pleasing migrants had chosen Dunedin over other areas.

"There must be something right about Dunedin. It vindicates our citywide emphasis on maintaining the quality of the lifestyle offering and enhancing it,'' Mr Cull said.

It was also a sign the city's businesses were performing well and backed up anecdotal evidence migrants were moving to the city to take up positions at information technology companies.

"Some businesses are obviously attracting good people from overseas and that's a really good thing both for the businesses and the city.''

The latest statistics for Otago come as The New Zealand Herald reported most new settlers from Asia stayed in Auckland and few were attracted to the regions.

This was despite a scheme allowing migrants to claim extra points if they found work outside the country's largest city.

The latest census data revealed seven out of 10 migrants from China - New Zealand's largest source of migrants - stayed in Auckland.

The Auckland region took up 46% of the overall national net gain of 113,495 migrants in the two years to November, compared with Otago at 2.5%.

Mr Cull said the addition last month of three-times-a-week direct flights by China Southern Airlines from Guangzhou to Christchurch could help attract more migrants to the South.

"One of the things we have got to be aware of is that Guangzhou used to be called Canton and Dunedin's old Chinese population is almost entirely Cantonese. So there is already some connections there,'' he said.


Net gain in migrants

in year to November 2015

Dunedin                           590

Queenstown Lakes            654

Waitaki                            104

Central Otago                    77

Clutha                               40

Total Otago                    1465


in year to November 2014

Dunedin                            566

Queenstown Lakes             535

Waitaki                             100

Central Otago                     85

Clutha                                61

Total Otago                     1347  


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